Christ is born! Glorify Him!

(This is the traditional Orthodox greeting and response, respectively, at the time of the Great Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ in the Flesh.)

Much is being made of Protestant churches that aren’t having services this morning, a Sunday but Christmas. Many have had services this evening, Christmas Eve. For Orthodox (as for Judaism and other old religions), every liturgical day has always begun at sundown, not at midnight or dawn. Nevertheless, we usually have the day’s Eucharistic Divine Liturgy in the morning. But for Feasts like Pascha (“Easter”) and Nativity, the day’s Eucharist is or may be the evening before. And we can’t have more than one Eucharist on an altar in a day (unlike other churches), so an evening Eucharist is “it,” unless there’s a special, different kind of service the next day, like the Pascha Agape service.

Ironically, the Protestant practice mimics Orthodoxy somewhat, in marking the Feast the previous evening!

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  1. Ruth

    I love the greeting “Christ is born! Glorify Him!” It is so much better than when I was Protestant and had to greet everyone with “Merry Christmas.” There are lots of people who won’t have a merry Christmas — people who are in sad circumstances due to illness, sin, bereavement. But no what our circumstances, we can all share in glorifying Christ because he became incarnate for our salvation! Christ is born! Glorify Him!

  2. Leo Peter O'Filon

    Ruth,

    Thank you for your words. Blogger must have hiccupped: I never got notified of your comment, and only just now discovered it while doing some maintenance over a year later! But as a sufferer of clinical depression, I can say your words are very true. Yet we are urged to glorify God in all things, and the fact that we don’t let our mood or passions (I don’t necessarily identify the two) prevent us from doing so would be a sign of significant spiritual progress (relatively speaking of course, since it’s Infinity we’re talking about here!).

    Another point is that, despite Orthodox’ reputation for parties, even during Soviet days (“…In Russia, Party find you!” Sorry, I couldn’t resist!), Holy Tradition always tries to remind us that religious feasts and festivals are not for excess of food, drink, even ‘merriment,’ but holy joy. I wonder how “Merry” got attached to the Nativity of Our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ According to the Flesh…and no other holyday? Maybe because “Easter” is merely “Happy”? not as much heavy drinking or partying in England/the West as with “Christmas”? still nursing Carnival/Mardi Gras hangovers?!! Inquiring minds wanna know! 😉

    (Also reminds me of the time in Latin parochial school I tried to convince Sister that Christmas was bigger than Easter…because culturally it so clearly is!)

    A profitable Great Fast 2007 to you.




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